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First fighter from Nordic state killed in Ukraine – media

A Finnish national was reportedly killed over the weekend, according to the head of a volunteer group

A citizen of Finland fighting for Kiev was killed in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, according to the Nordic Combat Medics unit operating in the combat area, the Finnish public broadcaster YLE reported on Monday. 

Tina Soini, the head of the unit, claims that the relatives of the man have been informed of his death. He noted, however, that the fighter, whose name has not been disclosed, is still officially considered “missing” because his death cannot be confirmed based on the body. 

Jussi Tanner, the head consul of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also told YLE that his department is aware of the man’s death. 


The outlet noted that the report marks the first time a Finnish citizen has lost his life in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

The Helsingin Sanomat news outlet, which also spoke with Soini, claims that the fighter was in his twenties and had participated in the battle for the city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, which was taken by Russian forces last month. The outlet also reported that the man had been one of the first to travel as a volunteer to Ukraine shortly after the hostilities broke out last February.  

Soini said that he hopes young Finns will think carefully before coming to fight in Ukraine and that they should choose to stay at home to live out their lives. “It’s not worth it. The reality here is not like in war movies,” he told HS. 

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FILE PHOTO. A member of the Foreign Legion prepares his equipment
More than 2,500 foreign mercenaries fighting for Ukraine – Shoigu

Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed that there are still over 2,500 foreign fighters – which Moscow considers to be mercenaries – taking part in the military operations in Ukraine.  

Russian officials had previously suggested that over 8,000 fighters were believed to have traveled to Ukraine since the start of the conflict, with the largest number coming from Poland, the US, Canada, Romania, and the UK. The Defense Ministry has noted, however, that many of these volunteers have since either been killed or have fled the country. 

Moscow has repeatedly urged foreign citizens against taking part in the hostilities in Ukraine, warning that they would be treated as mercenaries and not as enemy combatants as described by the Geneva Convention.

June 13, 2023 at 06:03PM


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